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Business News/ Politics / Congress to contest 255 seats in Lok Sabha elections, lowest since Independence
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Congress to contest 255 seats in Lok Sabha elections, lowest since Independence

Congress is likely to contest only 255 of the total Lok Sabha seats in the upcoming elections, the lowest number since Independence in 1947. The remaining 288 will be contested by the 27 parties in the opposition INDIA bloc.

Rahul Gandhi with Congress president Mallikarjun KhargePremium
Rahul Gandhi with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge

Congress is likely to contest only 255 of the total Lok Sabha seats in the upcoming elections, as per media reports. This would be the lowest number of seats Congress contested in the general elections, since Independence in 1947

With Congress' declining popularity in electoral politics, and an alliance with opposition INDIA bloc as a stream to survival and a bid to defeat the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the grand old party seems to have taken up much of a compromise. 

Often accused of high-handedness, and refusal to accommodate other parties, Congress deciding to fight a little less than half the total Lok Sabha seats is evidently a step towards change. 

Let's take a look at Congress seats for Lok Sabha polls over the years

Since India got Independence in 1947, the Indian National Congress has contested in 17 Lok Sabha Elections between 1951 and 2019.

According to  the data available, it has been seen that Congress has contested in above 450 seats on an average out of 545 seats in the Lok Sabha. The fewest seats Congress contested for was in the year 2004, when the the party fought in only 417 seats. 

Notably, the highest was in 1996, when Congress fought in 529 seats. This was the election India witnessed after a five year governance of PV Narasimha Rao. 

The absolute popularity of Congress with the Indian vote bank saw a downward trend from the 2014 Lok Sabha Polls, wherein Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) came into power, usurping the UPA. 

Notably, in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha Polls, Congress had contested in 464 and 421 seats respectively. 

Whereas, the BJP which won in only two seats on the debut year 1984 despite contesting in 229, now has over 290 MPs in the Indian Parliament. The saffron party has never contested in less than 300 seats since 1991. 

INDIA bloc report card in 2019

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's reported plan to contest 255 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha Polls, would mean the rest of the seats (288) would be contested by the 27 parties in the opposition INDIA bloc. 

Of them, in 2019, an undivided Shiv Sena had contested the most number of seats, followed by CPI(M), and Trinamool Congress

However, the party which won the most number of seats they contested from was MK Stalin's DMK from Tamil Nadu, followed by Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) in Bihar. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sayantani Biswas
Sayantani is an editor with Livemint. She covers stories of International and Indian politics, conflict
Catch all the Politics News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
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Published: 13 Jan 2024, 11:11 AM IST
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